Getting my liver back on track… Fava Beans with Artichoke

You know the things your grandmother/mother would tell you to do, eat or drink because they are supposed to be good for you!

And you would either shrug or believe it, knowing that you had no option but to eat it anyway once it was put in front of you.

Well… this dish that combines fava beans and artichoke is one of those dishes. Many years back, both my grandma and my mom used to tell me that I have to consume at least 2 lbs of artichoke in a year so that my body can renew my liver cells.

“It rejuvenates your organs, good for you so eat it!”

There was no way of opposing the doctors of the family. Especially my mom, since she is self-claimed herbal medicine doctor of the family. A funny story about that: Once she gave me a “herbal syrup” that was supposed to cure almost everything.  We came back to the US, I put it away and forgot about it for months. Then I mentioned it jokingly to a friend who was studying medicine. He asked to see the bottle. Then turned to me and said: “I do believe this would cure everything!”

The main ingredient was cognac, people!

Thankfully, there is internet now and I can search about everything that is supposed to be “good” for me before I take it blindly (or you can say “read the ingredients, Ilke!” Fair enough.). So I was relieved to learn that artichoke is really good for your liver and I did not eat all that for nothing when I was a kid. I think this dish is a must for this month. There will be lots of Christmas parties to attend, lots of wine to be consumed in the coming month. I should prepare my liver before I put this extra load on it!

For a while, having a big pile of dill made it edible for me but the taste finally grew on me and I started to ask for the dish. You can probably find shelled, skinned dry fava (broad) beans. This dish is the best when made with fresh beans with skin on. They have tough skin, if you are using fresh, it would take a little longer to cook with skin on. I found frozen beans with skin on in the Middle Eastern grocery store in the area and also frozen package of artichoke bottoms.

If you are using canned artichokes, find the ones that have artichoke bottoms packed in water. You can add the canned artichokes once the fava beans are close to being done. If you are using fresh ones, then they go in the pot together with the fava beans at the same time.

We also use fresh fava beans in their pods, you can see a picture of them here. I have not been able to find those yet.

Whatever artichoke dish you prefer, make sure you consume 2 lbs of artichoke in December. Your liver will thank you when you are trying to recover from New Year party on January 1st.

Fava Beans with Artichoke

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 14 ounce (approximate) skin-on frozen fava beans (if you find only dry form with skin on, soak them several hours first)
  • 10 ounce frozen artichoke bottoms, thawed, chopped in big chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup of water (more if needed to cook beans thoroughly)
  • 2/3 cup fresh dill, chopped (more or less depending on your taste)

1. Heat olive oil in a deep pan, add onions. Stir frequently until they are softened.

2. Add chopped artichokes, beans, salt and pepper. Add water. Turn the heat high. Bring it to a boil.

3. Turn the heat to medium low, cover and cook until beans and artichokes are cooked. If you need to add water, do so but boil excess water until approximately 1/3 cup of water left in the pan at the end of cooking.

4. Add chopped dill , stir, cover and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off.

4. Serve cold or warm with more fresh dill on top.


  1. by All That I'm Eating
    3:28 pm
    Dec 5, 2011

    I love artichokes so this sounds perfect to me. It’s such a pain to try and find them frozen though so I’m very jealous!

  2. by Amy
    10:44 pm
    Dec 5, 2011

    This dish sounds amazing! I love artichokes, but combining them with a bean makes a more substantial dish!

  3. by Snippets of Thyme
    11:43 pm
    Dec 6, 2011

    Your article just cracked me up! In Louisiana, my grandmother used to say that my mother put whiskey in our bottles to get us to sleep through the night! Speaking of fava beans…we have this huge Mexican Market here in Houston. They have the biggest fava beans that I have ever seen. I’ll get to eating those artichokes soon…Xmas party in 2 days.

  4. by Angie@Angiesrecipes
    1:25 am
    Dec 7, 2011

    I love fava beans…hardly see them over here. Added artichoke sounds fantastic too.


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